Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Nurse Follies: There's No Pleasing You!!

Faith directed me to this story, about the Sprint company releasing the chronic complainers from their contracts. Earlier this year, they booted a bunch of customers that were chronic bill non-payers.

I thought about how other businesses could adopt this new business tactic:

*The surly restaurant patron that constantly complains about the food and service, only to return later to do it all over again.

*The passenger that constantly bitches about every little thing on the cruise ship, right down to the fact that the cabin steward forgot to put a chocolate on their pillow, only to turn around and book another cruise once they get home.

*Al Sharpton and whatever he happens to be bitching about that day.

We all know a chronic complainer. Hell, I'm even related to one.

I understand that some complaints are legit. However, there are people out there, that complain about everything because they live and die by "the squeaky wheel gets the grease". Their complaints are not motivated by seeing changes for the better, but rather by what they can get out of it. A free meal, a free cruise, a free ride, a free blurb on the news. They abused the golden mantra of customer service for their own gain, and ruined it for everyone else. Bastards.

In thinking about this story, my mind wandered into the land of "Ain't Gonna Happen", and envisioned what hospital life would be like if they cracked down on the chronic complainers and those "frequent fliers" that cause nurses to groan and rue the day they became nurses. What if we could weed out the assholes, and free up those beds for patients who were really sick, and really wanted to get better? We could devote our time to those were more concerned about getting better, instead of how well the staff is going to kiss their ass, and what they could get out of us. A hospital could actually be a place for healing, instead of "the customer is always right".

I used to work for a hospital that catered to the complainers. If you complained loudly enough, you got a fruit basket the size of Rhode Island, plus a fleet of hospital management in your room, groveling at your feet. And this would be just because your coffee wasn't hot enough. I used to read the customer feedback cards from patients, and some would list the most extravagant requests: Video game systems in each room, gourmet room service, personal attendant, nurses to go back to wearing all white with the dorky caps. I really hate that last one.

It's a hospital, people. Not the Hyatt.

No, if hospitals put their foot down the way Sprint did, we could do away with the drug seekers who make up ailments just to get free narcotics. Those who have to complain about every single thing because they think they will get their hospital bill wiped clean. We could give the boot to those patients who bitch non-stop because the nursing staff isn't doing enough to keep them entertained. We're not circus monkeys.

By eliminating the complainers, we could actually take care of our patients, instead of running being harassed within an inch of our sanity because the coffee is not Starbucks.

Of course, hospitals would never do this. But I can dream.

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